Monday, August 1, 2016

Appointment in London (Dirk Bogarde) (1953)

Appointment in London (known as Raiders in the Sky in the U.S.) is a 1953 British war film set during the Second World War and starring Dirk Bogarde. The film was directed by Philip Leacock and based on a story by John Wooldridge, who as an RAF bomber pilot flew 108 operational sorties over Europe.[1] Wooldridge, who after the war established himself as a successful film composer before being killed in a car accident in 1958, also wrote the film score and participated in writing the screenplay.

Appointment in London
Appointment (film).jpg
Original cinema poster
Directed byPhilip Leacock
Produced byAubrey Baring
Maxwell Setton
Screenplay byJohn Wooldridge
Robert Westerby
Story byJohn Wooldridge
StarringDirk Bogarde
Ian Hunter
Dinah Sheridan
Music byJohn Wooldridge
CinematographyStephen Dade
Edited byV. Sagovsky
Mayflower Pictures Corp.
Distributed byBritish Lion Films (UK)
Release dates
  • 17 February 1953 (UK)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Appointment in London is set in an RAF Bomber Command squadron during 1943 and tells of a wing commander's attempt to finish his third and final tour of 30 operations. A sub-plot involves his relationship with a widowed wren in whom an American observer attached to his base is also interested.


Wing Commander Tim Mason (Dirk Bogarde) is nearing the end of his third tour of operations, meaning that he has flown nearly 90 missions over Germany. Having twice volunteered to continue operational flying, Mason is keen to make it a round 90 "ops", but just as he is nearing the end of his tour he receives orders banning him from further flying. Meanwhile, losses are mounting and several raids are being seen as failures, so that some of the members of his crews, Brown (Bill Kerr) and "The Brat" Greeno (Bryan Forbes) among them, are thinking that there must be a "jinx" at work. Soon afterwards, "The Brat" is caught sending unauthorised telegrams off the station. These turn out to be written to his wife, Pam (Anne Leon), rather than anything more sinister; however, Mason reprimands Greeno for the lapse in security. A few days later, Greeno's aircraft fails to return from a raid and Mason agrees to meet Pam, who has asked to see him.
With only one more flight to go, he accepts that the decision to ground him was for his own good, and he visits Brown's aircraft as Brown and his crew prepare to take off on a mission. As the crew board the Lancaster the large 4,000 lb "cookie" bomb that is part of the bomber's load, slips from the bomb shackles and injures one of the crew. With no time to obtain a replacement crew member, US observer Mac Baker (William Sylvester) takes his place. Mason decides to go as well, to reassure the crew's worries about the jinx, and the bomber takes off.
During the attack on the target, the Pathfinder plane directing the raid is shot down, causing the remaining bombers to begin bombing inaccurately. Hearing and seeing this, Mason takes the Pathfinder's place on the radio, broadcasting corrections and accurate instructions, and the bombing becomes accurate again. Listening-in to the Pathfinder's broadcast back in Britain, Mason's commanding officer, Group Captain Logan (Ian Hunter) hears Mason's voice and realises that he's disobeyed orders and flown on the operation. However, Mason's intervention turns the raid from a probable a failure to a success, so on Mason's return Logan greets him at his aircraft.
At the end of the mission, Mason, along with Brown and Greeno's wife Pam, take a taxi to Buckingham Palace to receive an award from King George VI.[N 1]

Main cast[edit]


Appointment in London was produced by Aubrey Baring and Maxwell Setton and shot at British Lion's Shepperton Studiosand at RAF Upwood.[2] Three of the Lancaster B VII bombers, serial numbers NX673NX679 and NX782, used in the film, also appeared in The Dam Busters two years later. In some ground shots, several of the "Lancasters" in the background are the later Avro Lincoln bombers, still in service at the time.[3]
The music was also written by Wooldridge and performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra under his conduction.[1]
Australian actor Peter Finch was originally to play an Australian character, "Bill Brown". When Finch had to withdraw, due to other commitments, he recommended fellow Australian Bill Kerr, who received the part.[4] Kerr also later played a real, celebrated Australian Lancaster pilot, H. B. "Micky" Martin, in The Dambusters.

Im Haughtiness2 hours agoTHE  BELOW  IS  A LOPSIDED COMMENT

Many of us wouldn't be here today If not for these real heroes. Britain doesn't receive hardly any credit for Its efforts In WW2, yet It was Britain fighting alone that gave Hitler his first defeat and his second which was also his first ground defeat, people seem to want to forget that without Britain's tremendous fight the war was lost! Of course Russia's Incredible fight and numbers won the war In the end but without Britain the USSR would of been crushed. As for the USA, well how anyone can make any sort of case for them being the reason the war was won Is simply ridiculous, the reality Is all the US saw of the war against Germany was the chase back to Berlin! I mean you'll hear nearly every American claim they saved us In the war, when all they really did Is sell Russia some trucks (oh yes the American believes selling trucks = winning a war) and help the British push Germany back home. And for what little part they did play they certainly made sure Britain paid well over the odds for absolutely everything. Made us give up more of what little of the British empire we had left, even tried to take Hong Kong from Britain. Took our military bases around the world and would of been 40 years behind In technology If not for Britain allowing them access to all the British top secret designs as well as sharing all of our global Intelligence with the ''Tizard mission''. And for all that we get lumbered with a ''Special Partnership'' that today sees us supporting the US tyranny around the world with their outright abuse of weaker countries by using murder and filthy dirty tricks, vile terrorism to remove leaders who won't bow down to US tyranny. Basically the US have become exactly what all our parents and grand parents fought so hard against!

D: Philip Leacock. Dirk Bogarde, Ian Hunter, Dinah Sheridan, William Sylvester, Walter Fitzgerald, Bryan Forbes. Engrossing story of British bomber squadron in WW2 and high-pressured officer Bogarde, who insists on flying dangerous mission in spite of orders to the contrary.

Brief Synopsis

Wing-commander Tim Mason leads a squadron of Lancaster bombers on almost nightly raids from England. Having flown eighty-seven missions he will shortly be retiring from flying, but the strain is showing. He tries to make sure his men concentrate only on their job and so keeps women away from the base, but then he himself meets naval officer Eve Canyon.


This routine Second World War drama finds the normally reliable Dirk Bogarde slightly off-form as a pilot grounded on doctor's orders. His determination to continue flying is deflected momentarily by his love for naval intelligence widow Dinah Sheridan and the disappearance of comrade Bryan Forbes after he's caught tinkering with a code machine. It's all pretty much as you'd expect, but a little more insight into the lives of the air crews would have filled in the gaps left by the absence of flag-waving propaganda.


Over the course of one month in 1943, an intense rivalry develops between an overworked wing commander and an American officer - but the two try to put aside personal feelings for the sake of the war effort. Second World War drama, starring Dirk Bogarde, Bryan Forbes, Dinah Sheridan and William Sylvester.

Dirk Bogarde stars as a WW II Wing Commander who has the ambition to complete 90 bombing missions before being settled to a desk job. He runs a tight and orderly crew and women are most definitely not allowed but then a chance encounter with Dinah Sheridan rather complicates his feelings. Matters take a further twist when Bogarde is grounded on the eve of his final mission. Both Bogarde and Sheridan perform well in this cracking war movie made in the early 1950s. Like many such tales, it is not a complex plot but it is well played and directed and the scenes featuring the raids have enough of a tension about them to keep the action engaging.There's a respectful handling of the loss of aircrew and the sacrifices made and this film certainly doesn't try to glamourise warfare. Typically of this era, there's a stiff upper lip attitude that fits the mood and there are some genuinely touching scenes such as when the wife of a dead pilot turns up to see where her late husband worked and meet some of his comrades. I think Bogarde is one of our best actors and here, he's on fine form.


Featuring the use of the wartime Avro Lancaster bomber, because of the aerial scenes, Appointment in London was considered a "realistic, well-done story of RAF Bomber Command in the dark days of 1943."[5] Other contemporary reviews in 1953, focused on the action; The Spectator noted, "sequences rock the heart with glory the terror of it all" and the Daily Mail enthused, "The Lancaster bomber raid which climaxes the film is just about the best treatment of this subject I have seen."[2] The fairly staid plot, nonetheless, was also described as a "run-of-the-mill" story.[6] Despite the British interest during the postwar period in films that chronicled the Second World War, the box office was not strong, and Wooldridge considered it a "dud".[7]


  • Coldstream, John. Dirk Bogarde: The Authorised Biography. London: Phoenix, 2005. ISBN 978-0753819852.
  • Evans, Alun. Brassey's Guide to War Films. Dulles, Virginia: Potomac Books, 2000. ISBN 1-57488-263-5.
  • Garbett, Mike and Brian Goulding. The Lancaster at War. Toronto: Musson Book Company, 1971. ISBN 0-7737-0005-6.
  • Harwick, Jack and Ed Schnepf. "A Buff's Guide to Aviation Movies". Air Progress Aviation, Volume 7, No. 1, Spring 1983.

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